Zucker’s abrupt departure comes at a time when the network is preparing to launch CNN+, a streaming service that he championed.
CNN President Jeff Zucker has resigned from his position with immediate effect following his admission that he failed to disclose a consensual relationship with a colleague at the network. The disclosure was made during an investigation into former CNN host Chris Cuomo’s tenure at the network. Cuomo was fired after he was found to have helped his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, respond to accusations of sexual misconduct.
Speaking in a memo to employees, he said: “As part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo’s tenure at CNN, I was asked about a consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years. I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong. As a result, I am resigning today.”
Though Zucker did not name the woman with whom he was having an affair, Allison Gollust, chief marketing officer at CNN, put out a separate statement acknowledging her role in it and confirming it was consensual. Gollust was briefly an aide to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in August 2021 amid a flood of sexual harassment allegations.
Zucker and Gollust began working together at NBC in 1998. They rose through the ranks at the network together, and when Zucker joined CNN, Gollust was among his first hires.
In a statement of her own, Gollust said: “Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years. Recently, our relationship changed during Covid. I regret that we didn’t disclose it at the right time. I’m incredibly proud of my time at CNN and look forward to continuing the great work we do every day.”